BFC’s latest Synthesis Report finds slight improvements in garment factory working conditions, although issues of overtime and occupational safety and health continue
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The latest report on working conditions in Cambodia’s garment factories, compiled by the International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia Programme (ILO-BFC), has found a slight improvement in factories’ overall compliance with labour law standards.
BFC’s 32nd Synthesis Report on Working Conditions in Cambodia’s garment industry presents an overview of the status of compliance with the labour law in the factories where the programme operates. The findings are based on ILO-BFC factory assessment reports on 393 garment and footwear factories, between May 2014 and April 2015.
The report notes that overall compliance levels increased slightly during the reporting period, following a downward trend between 2010 and 2013. The findings also indicate that improvements have been made since the BFC programme resumed public reporting of its findings. These improvements include positive changes on issues related to severance payments, emergency preparedness and the payment of bonuses.
The report also documents how overall compliance levels have gone up since the start of the BFC programme in 2001, and how awareness of legal requirements and implementation of the labour law has increased, as indicated by factories’ current compliance status compared to their first assessment visit.
However, despite the slight increase in compliance levels, some persistent challenges remain and there are also areas where change has been negative. The top ten non-compliance issues – which remain the same as in previous years - include issues related to overtime and occupational safety and health. The report also indicates that all of the 135 strikes that took place in the monitored factories failed to comply with one or more legal requirements.
‘Even if small, the increase in aggregate compliance level is a positive signal for the garment and footwear industries and their workers,” said Esther Germans, Programme Manager of the ILO-Better Factories Cambodia Programme. “The efforts of all stakeholders - the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, trade unions and international buyers - are essential to support these positive trends, and to address the root causes of the persistent problems. The ILO-BFC programme will continue to provide its assistance and collaborate with constituents to promote the growth and sustainability of the industry.”
‘Some indications of a wider recognition of the importance of making improvements can also be seen in growing interest in BFC services”, she added “The report notes a considerable uptake in BFC service delivery, especially those services that go beyond monitoring. Factories and buyers want to find sustainable solutions and Better Factories Cambodia offers support to committed factories. It helps them to increase compliance through improved communication and collaboration between workers and management”.
The full 32nd Synthesis Report on Working Conditions in Cambodia’s garment sector can be downloaded in Khmer or English from www.betterfactories.org.
For more information please contact:
Mr. Ly Sokheng
Communications Assistant Better Factories CambodiaTel: (855) 23 212 847